Another perspective - I think there is a much broader range of types of
colleges in the US than there are in other countries. As someone else
pointed out, a larger percentage of US students go to college, and there
are many schools that take essentially 100% of the students who apply.
At large state schools, it is possible to do the bare minimum and still
get a degree (including getting a degree in science without a lab class,
although not with a bio or chem major). As a TA, I had students who
took intro chemistry (a class of 300-400 students) and barely opened the
book, but still passed with a "C". Unfortunately, these schools are the
only ones many students can afford to attend. However, if you talk to
the top students, they work just as hard and take just as many difficult
classes as students at European colleges, or MIT. You just have to sift
through more to find them.
kwheless at rockland.net
Wear the old coat and buy the new book.